Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Restorer

CSSF Blog Tour

I'm getting a jump on the blog tour this month by posting my review of Sharon Hinck's latest book The Restorer a day early. Why would I do that? Am I trying to show up the other people on the tour? Not at all! Instead, I have something special in store for the few people who wander into the Least Read Blog that will start tomorrow. I've been looking forward to reading this book for quite a while (as you can tell from this post) and it didn't disappoint.

The Restorer is the tale of Susan Mitchell, a harried mom of four. Susan desperately needs some time to herself for devotion but she simply can't find any quiet time. Her husband, Mark, stumbles on what he thinks is a good idea: he converts part of their attic into a retreat of sorts. Susan can go up there, pull up the ladder, and concentrate on her devotions.

And that's what Susan does. But the first time she uses it, she somehow manages to stumble into an alternate world. In this world, a hard-pressed and surrounded people are waiting for the Restorer, a person sent by the One to rescue them from their enemies. Some of them believe that Susan is that Restorer. But how can a mom be a military hero? Is Susan really the one they were waiting for? And if she is, how is she going to help these people?

Sharon creates an interesting alternate world. It's not quite fantasy, it's not quite sci-fi, but it's a blend of the two. There are just enough twists and turns in the book to keep you guessing and reading. One of them, in the middle of the book, knocked me for a loop. I was sure I had things figured out but it turned out I was completely off. I love it when that happens.

Like in her previous books, Sharon also makes a valid point about what faith in God actually means. I don't want to spoil what it is, but it got me thinking. Especially of the end of Luke 9. Go figure it out.

This is perhaps one of the reasons why I enjoy Hinck's writings so much: she is clearly targeting mature Christians and isn't "writing down" to them. One of the things I've never understood is why Christian fiction is usually centered around a conversion experience for one of the characters. Maybe it's a feel good thing; I don't know. I do know that it's nice to see a story with a message for people who have been Christian for a while.

So go out and get this book. Hey, I'll even make it easy for you!

For this month's blog tour, I will be giving away a copy of The Restorer. Starting tomorrow, you can enter the contest simply by leaving me a comment on any post over the next few days that says, in essence, "Sign me up for the contest." You'll have until midnight CST on June 20th to enter. If you want, you can increase your odds by leaving one entry comment a day (no more than that, please). On June 21st, I will gather up all the entries and put them in a hat or some other kind of handy recepticle and have someone (maybe my wife, maybe my son ... although a nine month old might not understand what's going on) draw a name. Then I'll drop the book in the mail to you and you can see how wonderful this story is for yourself.

So is that the "something special" I have in store? Nope. It's not. Be sure to come back tomorrow and see what it is. I'm excited about it. I really am.


Trevor said...

First entry in the contest worth a few extra slips?


MommaBear said...

Me two...count me in! Actually your review makes me want to read the Restorer so much that I will buy it if I don't win!

Happy FIRST Father's Day once again!

chrisd said...

I'm going to highlight you on my blog (by your name, basically).

Don't put me in the contest, though, ok? I'll try to purchase it.

Great idea, though! I'll "mention" it!

Sharon Hinck said...

Hi, John!
What fun! You're posting early AND promising "something exciting" and I know what it is. LOL!

Hey,trevor, I think you should get TEN slips for being the first. :-)

And mommabear, HOORAY for saying that you'll buy a copy if you don't win. Words to warm my publisher's heart.

ChrisD - HOORAY for you, too. :-)
I hope your local Christian bookstore has it in stock, but if not, I've also heard Borders and Barnes and Noble are well-stocked.